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Stravinsky Letters, Contract & Publisher's Archive

Stravinsky Letters, Contract & Publisher's Archive by STRAVINSKY, Igor; Victor Gollancz; Livia Gollancz (1936)
Author: STRAVINSKY, Igor; Victor Gollancz; Livia Gollancz
Title: Chronicle of my Life: The Publisher's Archive
Year: 1936
Publisher: Victor Gollancz
Place: London/ Paris/ Hollywood
Dust Jacket: Yes
Signed: Yes
Price: £1950
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Added under Manuscripts  

[Igor Stravinsky; 3 TLS; 1 ANS, Book Contract annotated, initialled 8 times and signed by Stravinsky and Victor Gollancz with Livia Gollancz's 1st edition and publisher's archive] Important archival collection relating to the publication of Stravinsky's autobiography in 1936 offered with the publisher's archive 1935-1986 including letters from Igor and Theodore Stravinsky, Eric Walter White, Victor Gollancz and his lawyer about a possible libel of Nijinsky. Stravinsky's earliest typed letter, signed in full with place and date ('Imperial Japan Paper' watermark) comes from his Fauborg St Honore address in Paris, 28th December 1935, addressing 'Cher Monsieur Gollantz' [sic], unable to delay publication of the Chroniques in French and worried about his English translator and translation. In the second longer letter (c300 words) Stravinsky complains at some length about the English text 'si defectueuse, defigurant a maints endroits mon texte...' and suggests a solution: 'Ne connaissant pas suffisemment l'anglais moi-meme j'ai demande mon ami, le violiniste [Samuel] Dushkin, de revoir la traduction.' Writing some months later in September 1936 Stravinsky asks about the reception of his book and, pointedly, 'l'etat de nos comptes' - money. This has been annotated in pencil in house: 'Pl[ease] deal with tactfully in VG's absence'! (Copy of Gollancz's response present providing sales details.) In 1963 Stravinsky sent Gollancz a note in English, written on his large visiting card with his printed name at the centre about a possible reprint of the book - further correspondence about this proposal. The highlight of the rest of the archive relates to negotiation about the first publication in English including a typed letter from Stravinsky's son Theodore (Paris, 12 Jan 1935) regarding illustrations and a revealing letter from the London lawyer H F Rubinstein querying potential libels including one against Nijinsky on page 70. The letter is annotated 'V.G. dealt with this personally in my absence 4.3.36'. The four page printed contract between writer and publisher has been extensively annotated by Stravinsky with each change initialled 'I.Str' and finally signed in full with Victor Gollancz's counter-signature in green ink. Additionally there are letters by Victor Gollancz (unsent) to Stravinsky from 1961 expressing an 'itch to reissue the book', Max D Steur, Arnold Weissberger, various researchers including G Szamosi, Eric Walter White (2) with a copy of Livia Gollancz's reply. There are some two dozen Gollancz copy letters sent around the time of first publication and in the ensuing years. The book is a first edition owned by Livia Gollancz, very good in a near very good wrapper with 'Livia' and her phone number wrotten on the first blank and a note of the removal of Cocteau's portrait of Stravinsky and Picasso. Stravinsky's Chronicle was his only attempt at an autobiography, written with the assistance of Walter Nouvel and containing his well-known statement that 'music is, by its very nature, essentially powerless to express anything at all'. This collection represents an important primary source for Stravinsky research.
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